This doesn’t sound like America. A British woman says her family has been held by in “frigid” and “filthy” conditions since October 3rd. Their alleged crime? Crossing the Canadian/U.S. border by mistake.
The Washington Post reports that the family was vacationing in Vancouver when they made a detour due to an animal on the road. The family says they didn’t realize it, but they had crossed the border and were quickly pulled over and “arrested.” They asked if they could turn around, but were “denied.” Reporter Allyson Chiu writes:
The vacationing family says this was the moment their trip turned into “the scariest experience of our lives,” according to a complaint filed Friday to the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security. Instead of being allowed to return to Canada or the U.K., Eileen Connors alleges that her entire family, including her 3-month-old son, ended up detained at the Berks Family Residential Center in Leesport, Pa.
Eileen Connors is quoted as saying: “We are so sickened by all of this… The idea and memory of our little baby having to sleep on a dirty floor of a cell will haunt us forever.”
The family says after being held at “an undisclosed Border Patrol station in Washington state,” they thought they were boarding a plane home. Instead, when they stepped off the flight they were taken to a Pennsylvania facility known as “baby jail.” It reportedly has frigid cells nicknamed “iceboxes.” Worried about the health of her baby in these conditions, Connors points out that officials admitted their son was “a bit young” to be held there. Then she says they offered to separate the baby from the family.
“We were shocked and disgusted at the thought of our baby being taken from us, and ever since I cannot sleep thinking that someone might come in and take him from me.”
After exhausting several options to try and get home, a lawyer working with the couple hopes that they will get deported as early as today, nearly two weeks later.